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Four PPS Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

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Four PPS Students Named National Merit Semifinalists
Posted on 09/15/2016
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Four high school seniors in the Portland Public Schools have been named Semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented students will have an opportunity to compete for about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

The four Semifinalists are Rose Griffin, who attends Portland High School; Alex Smith, a student at Deering High School; and Jasper Sommer and Nathaniel Youngren, who attend Casco Bay High School.

The four are among about 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide. The Semifinalists were selected from a pool of about 1.6 million high school juniors who entered the 2017 scholarship program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the nonprofit National Merit organization.

About 90 percent of the Semifinalists nationwide are expected to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance, including having an outstanding academic record throughout high school, writing an essay, and earning SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalists will be notified in February whether they have reached Finalist status.

About half the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and become National Merit Scholars.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2017 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 323,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.